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From “cold” logic to friendly order: Finding Aquinas

THOMAS AQUINAS

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Daniel Esparza - published on 05/05/24

Perhaps the contemplative silence of another saint leaves you cold. It might be helpful to delve deeper. Explore different facets of their lives and writings.

I must admit that the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas never really resonated with me. In comparison to the passionate Augustine or the mystical John of the Cross, Aquinas felt somewhat detached. His meticulous arguments, while undeniably impressive, seemed to lack something. Until it finally struck me.

I have learned that love often requires stepping outside your comfort zone. In my case, that meant giving Aquinas a second chance. This time, I decided to approach his work with a different focus.

Instead of looking at Thomas Aquinas’ arguments in a purely logical way, I tried to understand his emphasis on order and reason. I was then surprised to discover that his approach to faith, philosophy, theology, and life in general was not as cold as I had thought. It seemed to me that he was (passionately!) trying to create a clear and logical structure for understanding the world, his faith and, ultimately, himself.

Spilling over into daily life

This newfound appreciation for order wasn’t just intellectual. It soon spilled over into my daily life in various ways. My prayer time became less scattered, my to-do list less overwhelming, and there was a newfound peace in knowing where things belonged, both literally and figuratively. (You should have seen what my closet was like not too long ago!)

This journey with Aquinas taught me a valuable lesson. Just as when you look in the rearview mirror of your car, things that seem distant are “closer than they appear.” Aquinas was indeed closer to my own ways than I thought he was.

My discovery has challenged me to find fresh and familiar aspects of other figures that didn’t seem up my alley before.

Exploring the saints

This experience would, of course, apply to many other figures beyond Aquinas. Perhaps you find yourself drawn to the fiery zeal of a particular saint but feel as though you can’t keep up with his or her way of doing things. Or maybe the contemplative silence of another saint leaves you cold.

In these cases, it might be helpful to delve deeper. Explore different facets of their lives and writings. You might be surprised by the hidden treasures you unearth, and for the many different ways you find to walk in their footsteps.

Ultimately, faith is also a journey of exploration. It’s about recognizing that God can be found in unexpected places –in my case, even within the seemingly rigid framework of a Summa Theologica. So, the next time you encounter a figure who doesn’t resonate at first glance, consider that a little intellectual (or spiritual) gardening might just reveal a love waiting to bloom.

Tags:
Personal GrowthSaintsSpiritual Life
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